Horrible Bosses is not a great movie, especially not in the sense of being large. It is a small movie. There are few big moments or big scenes or big laughs. It stays on fairly even keel from most of it’s run time. That does not mean that it is not entertaining. Horrible Bosses is entertaining throughout. While the plot is not terrific, the excellent cast keeps the movie funny and enjoyable.
Three friends, played by Charlie Day, Jason Bateman and Jason Sudeikis, decide they hate their bosses and feeling trapped in their current jobs plot to have their bosses killed. So they try to hire someone to kill their bosses for them. There isn’t much else too it. Most of the humor comes from characters, not gross out situations like many other R-rated comedies. Fortunately the characters, and especially the actors that play them carry it well.
Bateman, Sudeikis and Day are mostly known as television guys, but they are always funny and underrated. Bateman, the glue that held the best TV show of the last decade, Arrested Development, together, plays a man stymied in his climb up the corporate ladder. Sudeikis, an underrated SNL guy, is a womanizer upset with the son who took over the family business and Charlie Day, possibly the funniest guy currently on TV, is a dental assistant and registered sex offender. The three work really well together, their friendship never feels forced on screen. Just as good as our trio of heroes are, their bosses are at least as good. Kevin Spacey is hysterically evil, Colin Farrell is just about as terrible and useless as a person gets and Jennifer Aniston is great as a sexually rapacious dentist. And there is Jamie Foxx’s hilarious turn as the trio’s “murder consultant.” No one turns in a truly great performance, but everyone is funny.
This is not a movie to inspire much of a strong reaction from the viewer. The humor comes less out of the murderous set-up and more from the amusing interactions among the characters. Which is why it is important that this film has a cast full of great comedians. With a few exceptions, like an incident with an epipen, Horrible Bosses doesn’t rise much above being humorous or amusing, but the stellar cast keeps the movie from being forgettable.